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170703 July 3, 2017


It Would Be Grand of You to Help Me
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

     I was recently asked by Cathey Carney, of the Old Huntsville magazine, if I would consider submitting a monthly article on my memories of growing up in Huntsville to include in the monthly issues. I know I am not the only classmate who has previously submitted stories to her, as I recall seeing at least one by Collins (C.E.) Wynn. I am a few months ahead, so I have time to really research the story I want to do.

    My goal is to make each story tell about something I remember from my youth in Huntsville, basically from the day I was born until the day after my graduation from Lee. In the past I have basically written from my own memories, but I have a favor to ask of you readers (especially you girls) for a story I would like to do.

    We have touched on the Grand News Stand several times in Lee’s Traveller, with some wonderful memories shared by Bobby Cochran and Rainer Klauss especially. While I would love to hear some additional tidbits from Rainer, I am really reaching out to you girls to see if any of you have any memories of the place.

    I remember there was an elevated floor in the back of the store, and that was where the bathrooms were. It was only about two or three steps up to the level, and merchandise was on shelves there also.

    When I look back, I see it in almost the same light as the comic book store in the TV comedy “The Big Bang Theory.” I remember all us kids hanging around the comic book section mostly. I also remember a lot of the temporary arsenal workers taking advantage of the “Adult” men’s magazines. I can’t remember all of them, but will look some up later, but beside the obvious “Playboy” I remember one titled “Stag.” 

    I also remember buying stamps, plastic models, and other craft items there. I think there were even a few chemicals for chemistry sets in one section. I know they sold candy and drinks near the cash register located at the front door.

    Do any of you, male or female, remember the names of the people who ran it? I seem to recall I always called the manager Mr. Sanders, but I don’t know if I ever knew his first name or even if my memory of his last name is correct.

    So, girls, help me out…please. Did any of you ever frequent The Grand News Stand and if so, what did you buy (or window shop) while you were there. Do you remember any teen magazines or anything else you purchased? Was there any section that was devoted to the fairer sex?

    Guys, what do you remember that I am leaving out?

    Please email me with your memories and answers. If you don’t want your name listed for credit in the story when it is finished just say so and I won’t name you.

    Thank you in advance. Please help me. 

    By the way, was the store with the sign to the right in the photo above Johnson & Mahony?

        Memphis, TN - Fourth of July is coming up. I hope all of you who travel have a safe and fun trip and that the rest of you enjoy this special holiday celebrating our freedom.

    If any classmate has sent me an original story (not a shared story from another source) and it has not been printed, please let me know and I will try to dig it up.  Thanks.

Mike Crowl's Quote Last Week
Tommy Towery
LHS '64

    (Editor's Note: I just had to look up the quote Mike wrote on his diploma that he wrote about last week. It just seemed too profound to come from a Lee High School senior. Mike told me he was going to make a contest of who could identify it the soonest, and I did before he had the chance.)

    “To be honest, to be kind - to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends, but these without capitulation — above all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with himself — here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.” 

    The author of that quote is Robert Louis Stevenson from his novel "Across the Plains: Leaves from the Notebook of an Emigrant between New York and San Francisco” (1883)

    Across the Plains (published in 1892) is the middle section of Robert Louis Stevenson's three-part travel memoir which began with The Amateur Emigrant and ended with The Silverado Squatters.

    The book contains 12 chapters, each a story or essay unto itself. The title chapter is the longest, and is dividied into seven subsections. It describes Stevenson's arrival at New York as an immigrant, along with hundreds of other Europeans, and his train journey from New York to San Francisco in an immigrant train. Stevenson describes the train as having three sections: one for women and children, one for men, and one for Chinese. He notes that while the Europeans looked down on the Chinese for being dirty, in fact the Chinese carriages were the freshest and their passengers the cleanest.


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Dennis Tribble

    Thanks for the updates. You're a standup guy.


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